Wintershall Dea has signed a sales and purchase agreement with ConocoPhillips, to jointly develop the Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte blocks in the central Argentine province of Neuquén.
The blocks hold significant unconventional oil and natural gas resources in the prospective Vaca Muerta shale formation. Under the terms of the agreement, Wintershall Dea shall continue as operator of the licenses.
"ConocoPhillips’ extensive know-how developed across unconventional operations in U.S. shale plays complements Wintershall Dea's technological expertise and decades of local experience. We are excited about this new partnership as it will allow us to expedite the development of the two blocks," said Thilo Wieland, member of Wintershall Dea board, responsible for Latin America.
Wintershall Dea said it has already successfully conducted pilot projects in both blocks. The production testing is currently ongoing.
The deal is expected to be closed in 2019.
As part of the transaction ConocoPhillips will acquire a 45 per cent interest share in the Aguada Federal block situated in the Neuquén basin. Wintershall Dea as the operator will retain a 45 per cent share in the block (97 km2). The remaining 10 per cent are held by Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén S.A. (GyP). ConocoPhillips will also acquire a 50 per cent share in the nearby Bandurria Norte block (105 km2). Wintershall Dea will retain the other 50 per cent and will remain operator of the block.